If the car needs fuel pump replacement frequently and there is no fuel pump access cut out on the car truck bed, then people resort to making a cut hole in the truck bed for replacing the faulty fuel pump.
In many latest pickup models, the tuck is provided with a hatch panel for accessing the fuel pump but the old models do not have one.
Often, simply wiggling the fuel pump wiring harness sitting at top of the fuel tank and connected to the fuel pump helps in restarting the fuel pump, if the loose wiring harness connections are the problem. But in order just to wiggle the harness you would first need to access the area. Isn’t it?
The fuel pump is typically located 10 to 12 inches from the front of the truck bed immediately behind the car cabin. Typically, the fuel pump cut-out shall start at 5 inches from the front end of the truck box and usually need to extend 12 inches in length. The width of the cut hole would extend either leftwards or rightwards depending on the orientation of the fuel hoses and harness connectors.
It is essential to understand that the cutting sizes and position vary depending on vehicle model and year of manufacturing, hence one shall note actual fuel pump location before proceeding with cutting hole.
If you want to inspect and replace the fuel pump and exhausted all other options available to remove fuel pump and finally looking for where to cut hole in truck bed for fuel pump, then you are at the right place. Stay tuned for everything you need to know!
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Where To Cut Hole In Truck Bed For Fuel Pump?
When you are not able to start your truck and suspect the root cause issue is related to the fuel pump, then you would need to inspect the fuel pump and the wiring harness thoroughly before proceeding further.
The issue could be either the fuel pump is not getting power or the fuel pump is not priming. You need to troubleshoot the fuel pump related problems to get to the root cause.
Options to access fuel pump
The option one would select may vary depending on the age of the vehicle, road conditions the truck is subjected to, environmental conditions where the truck runs, and the criticality of the work involved.
- Remove the fuel tank mounting fasteners and drop the fuel tank assembly from the truck. This option is most suitable if the fuel tank mounting hardware is not rusty and muddy and it is easily removable.
- Remove the truck bed’s mounting hardware and slide or take off the bed to access the fuel pump fitted on top of the fuel tank. If the mounting hardware is in good condition and you have a group of people around to help slide the truck bed, then it is the option.
- Make a cut hole in truck bed for accessing the fuel pump from the top.
When to cut hole in truck bed for fuel pump?
Out of all options available to access the fuel pump, making a cut hole in truck bed makes a lot of sense in case of the below reasons.
- If your car’s fuel pump is going bad frequently and you need to spend a good amount of time and money to drop the fuel tank every time.
- If you are living in a region where the brine solution is sprayed all around in winter, then possibly removing either the fuel tank mounting bolts or unscrewing the truck bed mounting fasteners will be quite a pain, as it would have got rusted completely.
- You have tried to remove the bolts but it is either jammed and got broken or the bolt just simply spins in its place on the frame.
- Dealer maintenance charge for dropping the fuel tank or taking off the truck bed is not justified for doing the simple job of replacing the fuel pump which cost only a fuel bucks.
- The truck bed is in bad shape and already has several holes and is due for replacement, so making an extra hole will not affect the aesthetics of the truck bed.
- In certain cases, draining the fuel from the fuel tank through the fuel filler neck is difficult due to its routing design and there is no fuel tank drain outlet point on the fuel tank. In that case, dropping the fuel tank becomes a tedious process, especially when removing the rusted hardware itself is quite a task.
Steps to cut hole in truck bed for fuel pump access
The fuel pump is typically located between the vehicle wheelbase immediately behind the car cabin. It typically sits 10 to 12 inches from the truck bed front.
Below are the important points that one should keep in mind before going ahead and steps to cut hole in truck bed.
- Look underneath the truck bed and locate the fuel pump sitting on the fuel tank top. Measure the dimension of the fuel pump by taking reference from the truck bed both in the sideways and lengthwise directions.
- Check the fuel pump diameter and judge the footprint of the harness, electrical connectors, nuts and bolts, and fuel pipe orientation from the fuel pump center. The location of the fuel pump and the cut-hole dimension required on the truck bed may vary depending on the vehicle model and year of manufacturing.
- Typically, the fuel pump cut-out shall start at 5 inches from the front end of the truck bed box and end at 17 inches from the front end, so that you would make a 12-inch cut on the truck bed.
- The width of the cut hole depends on the criticality of the disassembly process, you may need to keep extra cutting dimensions and space for ease of access to the fuel pump-associated parts like harness connectors and fuel lines. Often, the visibility of the harness connectors and fuel pipe access nuts will be available but it becomes difficult to access them with the tools and wrenches required for their removal because of space constraints.
- Once you mark the cut hole size and position on your truck bed, it is time to cut the bed panel with an angle grinder cutter. But note that the width of the angle grinder will eat away that much thickness of the bed panel. Hence you need to adjust the thickness suitably while cutting the replacement access panel.
- While cutting the truck bed ensure that you don’t cut the hatch panel deeper, otherwise, you may damage the wiring harness, fuel hoses, etc that are sitting immediately underneath.
- Ensure that you do not cut the structural frame provided beneath which takes up the load on the bed. If you cut the cross frame, then the truck bed surface would sag under the load. Once you cut the hole in truck bed for fuel pump access, the cut-out shall be closed with an equivalent matching access panel.
- Typically, there are stamping ribs provided on the truck bed panel to strengthen the panel to take heavy loads. If you have a spare unused truck bed, you may get access panels matching the cut-out made. You may visit any junkyard nearby to get access panels matching the reinforcement ribs on the bed.
- The access panel can be either hinged or screwed by a self-tapping screw to the truck bed for ease of removal next time if the need arises. The hatch panel shall have reinforcement screwed to the truck bed immediately beneath to avoid bending and damage due to the load placed on the truck bed.
- Do not weld the access panel after the fuel pump replacement, otherwise, the next time when you want to inspect the fuel pump, you would need to redo all the work and defeat the purpose of providing the access panel.
- Also, the spark created while welding runs the risk of a fire hazard since it will be very close to the fuel pump hoses and fumes coming from the fuel tank.
- The sealing of the access panel to the truck bed is important otherwise dirt, water can traverse across the panel in both directions from top to bottom and vice versa. You may use a silicon rubber seal with rectangular sections or epoxy to seal the access panel with the truck bed.
- The cut end of the truck bed and hatch panel will not have a protective galvanized coating and can be subjected to atmospheric agents which would result in corrosion. Hence you would need to spray anti-rust coatings to prevent rust initiation from the cut edges.
If you are pretty sure that the fuel pump is the problem and desperately looking for ways to access the fuel pump, then cutting hole in the truck bed for fuel pump can be resorted to as last option because of the criticality of the work involved in cutting a hole and patching with access panel matching to the truck bed profile and sealing it properly to ensure leak proof joint.
Wherever possible, either dropping the fuel tank assembly or taking off the truck bed is to the attempted first, since it involves a clean solution without any cut, put, or weld work.
Only if it is not possible to remove the mounting hardware of the fuel tank or the truck bed due to rusted and damaged fasteners, then you can think of making a cut hole in truck hole for accessing the fuel pump.